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The seventh annual UAH Charger Chillout was hosted at Wilson Morgan Softball Complex February 17and 18 with the participating twenty-four teams from eleven states departing Decatur February 19 due to inclement weather. However, the first two days provided excellent conditions for the display of the beautiful fields for February, a tough competition for the outstanding field conditions during the summer months.
Taylor Flat, Sports Information Director for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, noted that the favorable conditions here were specific reasons for the participation of so many teams during this seventh consecutive year for the Charger Chillout. As significant, according to Flat, was the centralized location for this collegiate women’s softball invitational, as teams were represented from Detroit, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois and Florida, among others. The northern states, still negotiating winter temperatures were glad to take advantage of this tune-up as they prepare for their season and conference play.
Flat was also complimentary of the Wilson Morgan facility, commenting on the ability for scorekeepers, radio announcers and other officials to easily keep up with all games from the press box. He also noted the dedication of the groundskeepers in maintaining the fields and the efficiency of the concession workers and vendors. But he quickly added that this type of event does not happen without the cooperation of everyone working together throughout Decatur Parks and Recreation and the support of the entire Decatur community.
Les Studemire, in her seventeenth season as UAH Women’s Softball Coach (UAH being part of the largest Division II collegiate women’s softball conference), stated that three of the top twenty-five teams from 2011 came for this invitational, along with two teams participating in the 2011 Division II World Series. She was also impressed with the fact that so many teams traveled such a great distance to participate, and that a coach, a recent inductee into the Softball Hall of Fame, was also present.
Coach Studemire was especially complimentary of the cooperative efforts of so many people who bring this invitational together, David Wisdom, Supervisor of the Wilson Morgan Softball Complex, and the guidance and expertise of the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the citizens of Decatur and the local businesses and restaurants who provided such warm Southern hospitality, with the welcomed benefit of a nearly $200,000 economic impact on Decatur, Alabama!